It’s not every day our comments section veers into a discussion of the classics.

But after Scott Lewis reported that Unified Port of San Diego Commissioner Bob Nelson asked Mayor Bob Filner to resign, Nelson elaborated on how dire the Filner scandal has gotten.


This interview with Scott Lewis was tough for me; 40 years in the arena have made me loathe to ever abandon a friend in time of trouble. But this is different. As Lewis correctly reports, I believe this city of 1.3 million is leaderless at a time of great opportunity. As each woman who has experienced pain comes forward, she must relive that pain and I am sure it must be stirring painful memories for many more, regardless of when, where, or from whom they encountered similar experiences. Civil rights hero U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) was in town for Comic-Con over the weekend, signing his graphic novel, “March.” Lewis has been a 20-year friend of Mayor Filner, with whom he served in Congress, and for whom he helped raise funds for the mayoral campaign. What a sad twist of fate to see this bright new chapter for Rep. Lewis contrasted here against the tragic play simultaneously unfolding in the life and career of Bob Filner. Before Filner entered politics, he was a college history instructor. He undoubtedly recalls Aeschylus’ “Furies.” Filner’s medical and psychological problems have let loose those Furies who pursue him now. It is time for this tragic play to end, to turn the page and for San Diego to have a new chapter of leadership. To my friends, Laura Fink, Irene McCormack Jackson, Joyce Gattas and others, I commend lines 904-909 from Athena to The Furies: “Let it come out of the ground, out of the sea’s water,/and from the high air make the waft of gentle gales/wash over the country in full sunlight, and the seed/and stream of the soil’s yield and of the grazing beasts/be strong and never fail our people as time goes,/and make the human seed be kept alive.” So it was for Athens, let us now hope it can be so for San Diego.

Pat Flannery criticized much of Nelson’s reference to the play (to which Nelson responded with a mea culpa) and ended with a suggestion:

You would do well Mr. Nelson to read the whole play and reflect on its message and the desirability of San Diego becoming a progressive democracy like ancient Athens, where justice and the rule of law prevails over irrational vengeful prejudice.

This indeed is a pivotal moment in San Diego history: will it become a progressive democracy like ancient Athens or regress to rule by furies.

Brian Peterson chimed in with an appreciation of what Nelson was going for:

Well, Pat, let’s give Mr. Nelson credit for even trying to use a quote from the classics to explain San Diego politics. Usually, the best I can do is quote from a drunk, or drug-addled, 20th-century author or perhaps a line from “The Big Lebowski”…(I am the walrus).

Comment excerpts have been edited for clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us here

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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